Estate planning is the process of choosing who will receive what portion of your assets in the event of your incapacitation or after you pass away. Developing an estate plan is often done with assistance from a legal team, to ensure that the document is legally binding and that beneficiaries and heirs receive assets in such a way that there is minimal interference or delay. If you are in need of some tips to help you get started on an estate plan, consider these easy tips below.
Start By Inventorying Your Stuff
You may think that you do not have enough assets or money to justify writing an estate plan. As you begin to look around your house and outside of it, you may be shocked to see all of the tangible or intangible assets that you have. Examples of tangible assets that may be within an estate include vehicles, homes, land, vacation properties, boats, motorcycles, collectibles, antiques, jewelry, furniture, personal possessions, and more.
Intangible assets can be things like savings and checking accounts, certificates of deposit, mutual funds, stocks, bonds, retirement plans, life insurance policies, business ownership, and health savings accounts. After you have inventory of your assets, you’ll have to estimate what their value is worth. Some assets are going to be worth more than others, and some are going to be purely sentimental.
Consider Needs Of Family
After you have a better sense of what is within your estate, you’ll need to think about how you’re going to protect these assets and ensure that your family, friends, and/or charity organizations receive them once you are gone. You may need to ask yourself how much life insurance you need, and what factors such as being married or current lifestyle habits require two incomes. If you have a child with college tuition bills or special needs then it may be even more important to have a life insurance policy. Your lawyer, such as an estate planning lawyer Knoxville, TN families trust from Carpenter & Lewis PLLC, can discuss your insurance needs on an individual basis.
Talk With Beneficiaries
While having a conversation with your beneficiaries about your estate plan may not be easy per se, as it entails talking about a time when you were no longer here with them, it may be necessary. Some people choose to talk about what is in their estate plan with beneficiaries because then they have people who know what to expect later in life and can help ensure that their wishes are carried out properly. Chances are, as the team from Carpenter & Lewis PLLC can attest, your beneficiaries have your best interest at heart, and want to know how they can help make sure that your legacy is carried on to future generations in the way that you wish. If you do not communicate with anyone about your estate plan, or the fact that it exists at all, then you may risk it not being found and abided by after your death.